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This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works

July 15, 2013

this explains everything cover

Author:
John Brockman
Publisher:
Harper Perennial (2013)

In This Explains Everything, John Brockman, founder and publisher of Edge.org, asked experts in numerous fields and disciplines to come up with their favorite explanations for everyday occurrences. Why do we recognize patterns? Is there such a thing as positive stress? Are we genetically programmed to be in conflict with each other? Those are just some of the 150 questions that the world’s best scientific minds answer with elegant simplicity.… read more

The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business

February 4, 2013

The New Digital Age

Author:
Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
Publisher:
Knopf (2013)

In an unparalleled collaboration, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs give us their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a world where everyone is connected—a world full of challenges and benefits that are ours to meet and to harness.

Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential… read more

Looking Backward: 2050-2013

July 30, 2013

Looking Backward

Author:
Ravi Morey
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)

Picture the United States in the year 2025, desperately hobbled by a financial crisis brought on by a tax slicing Republican president. Imagine the country making a plaintive appeal to a newly democratized China to save itself from utter obsolescence. It could just happen, and what’s more, America may just come to like it. Looking Backward:2050-2011 is the prescient, provocative work of political fiction that envisions a new map… read more

Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I.

June 8, 2001

Are We Spiritual Machines

Author:
Jay W. Richards, Ray Kurzweil, George Gilder
Publisher:
Discovery Institute (2001)

Computers are becoming more powerful at an ever-increasing rate, but will they ever become conscious? Artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil thinks so and explains how we will “download” our software (our minds) and “upgrade” our hardware (our bodies) to become immortal — before the dawn of the 22nd century.

In this debate with his critics, including several Discovery Institute fellows, Kurzweil defends his views and sets the stage… read more

How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival

June 17, 2011

How the Hippies Saved Physics book cover

Author:
David Kaiser
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Amazon | The surprising story of eccentric young scientists who stood up to convention — and changed the face of modern physics.

Today, quantum information theory is among the most exciting scientific frontiers, attracting billions of dollars in funding and thousands of talented researchers. But as MIT physicist and historian David Kaiser reveals, this cutting-edge field has a surprisingly psychedelic past. How the Hippies Saved Physics introduces us to… read more

The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals

June 2, 2014

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Author:
Thomas Suddendorf
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals. Our minds have spawned civilizations and technologies that have changed the face of the Earth, whereas even our closest animal relatives sit unobtrusively in their dwindling habitats. Yet despite longstanding debates, the nature of this apparent gap has remained unclear. What exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs?

In The Gap, psychologist… read more

The Singularity Is Near

August 5, 2009
Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
Viking Press (2006)

Viking Press | In The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Ray Kurzweil presents the next stage of his compelling view of the future: the merging of humans and machines. Kurzweil refers to this as “the singularity,” and describes it as “…a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed.”

In… read more

The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet

April 18, 2013

Infinite_Resource_Cover

Author:
Ramez Naam
Publisher:
UPNE (2013)

“Brilliant” — Ray Kurzweil

“This book contains a plan – probably the only plan – to save the world.” — Steven Pinker

Climate change. Finite fossil fuels. Fresh water depletion. Rising commodity prices. Ocean acidification. Overpopulation. Deforestation. Feeding the world’s billions.

We’re beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet… read more

Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect

July 9, 2013

Social Why Our brains are wired to connect

Author:
Matthew D. Lieberman
Publisher:
Crown (2013)

We are profoundly social creatures – more than we know.

In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter.  Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world – other people and our relation to them. It is… read more

The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate

September 11, 2013

the hanson_yudkowsky

Author:
Robin Hanson, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Publisher:
Machine Intelligence Research Institute (2013)

In late 2008, economist Robin Hanson and AI theorist Eliezer Yudkowsky conducted an online debate about the future of artificial intelligence, and in particular about whether generally intelligent AIs will be able to improve their own capabilities very quickly (a.k.a. “foom”). The original debate took place in a long series of blog posts, which are collected here. This book also includes a transcript of a 2011 in-person debate between… read more

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

April 7, 2014

creativity_inc

Author:
Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
Publisher:
Random House (2014)

From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve… read more

The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

July 19, 2011

The Compass of Pleasure book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2011)

Amazon | A leading brain scientist’s look at the neurobiology of pleasure-and how pleasures can become addictions.

Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain.

As he… read more

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

September 17, 2013

kaku_future_mind

Author:
Michio Kaku
Publisher:
Doubleday (2014)

The New York Times best-selling author of Physics of the Impossible, Physics of the Future and Hyperspace tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain.

For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping… read more

The Grand Design

September 3, 2010

The Grand Design

Author:
Stephen William Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher:
Bantam (2010)

Amazon | The three central questions of philosophy and science: Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other? No one can make a discussion of such matters as compulsively readable as the celebrated University of Cambridge cosmologist Hawking (A Brief History of Time).

Along with Caltech physicist Mlodinow (The Drunkard’s Walk), Hawking deftly mixes cutting-edge… read more

Augmented Dreams

June 13, 2013

augmented_dreams

Author:
Stephen B. Kagan
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)

Augmented Dreams is an allegory of the modern mind (psyche) struggling to find balance between the roots of our ancestors and the modern world in a time of accelerating change. It is a palimpsest that takes place at the intersection between advanced technology, ancient myth, gaming and environmentalism.

Ben, a nature friendly virtual artist (world-weaver) and dream researcher follows a trail of darkness on an odyssey through different worlds… read more

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